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My teacher's thoughts...

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posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 12:37 PM
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I'm taking a class at Indiana University called "Search for Habitable Planets-Life in the Universe" and part of the class is UFO based no naturally I wanted to know what my professor thought about aliens. He works for NASA and when I asked him about NASA editing their photos he said they are only processed and nothing is taken out I sent him an e-mail asking him what his thoughts were on the Africa case where all the school children saw the same thing and even colored similar pictures. I linked him to a few sites in case he didn't know about it. Well this was his response:

You will not be satisfied with anything I
say, I am sure; but this type of "incident", while
puzzling and interesting, is never going to be
sufficient evidence to me for visiting
extraterrestrials or anything else "paranormal".
And I did look at the site.

The major reasons are as follows: 1) To me,
the explanation for anything that it is due to
intelligent aliens visting Earth in spacecraft
is such an extreme explanation that it will
always be easier and more rational to accept
a more pedestrian expalantion, even if a little
bit odd. As Carl Sagan put it, extraordinary
claims require extraordinary proof, the highest
standards of evidence. So, it is easier for me
to believe the children saw some unusual military
aircraft with suited up pilots, or they suffered
from a mass delusion, or their headmaster told
them what to say or do under threat of serious
beating. Stuff like this happens. I'm not saying
any of this is right. Obviously, I don't know.
But, until an enomrous amount of effort was
expended, those kinds of explanations are more
plausible to me. PEOPLE and Nature do weird things;
we probably have no need of aliens to explain
bizarre occurrences. 2) I have no control
over the rigor applied by, nor any reason to trust
the people who claim to have "investigated" this.
Hundreds of people at Lourdes have claimed to see
the blessed Virgin at the same time. More than
once Should I believe that? Nah. I can believe they
thought they did, but did they "really"? 3) I, like
many others would like for the existence of aliens
to be true. Therefore, I have to be even MORE
exceptionally skeptical about it, especially when
dealing with "evidence" presented by "believers".
4) In earlier days, I naturally became interested
in the paranormal. Every time I followed up
anything concrete, I found it was a misunderstood
or exaggerated (and in fact simple) natural (or
artificial) phenomenon or a hoax. After a while,
one decides it is not worth the effort. There are
also some really professional scam artists out
there ready to make a buck off the gullible.
5) Most alien claims I have heard, including the
nature of the aliens and their craft, seem all
too human and unimaginative to be real. I think
"real" aliens would be likely to be very far
advanced over humans (the Universe is MUCH older
than us). I doubt they would look so human or
fly around in craft that look as low tech as
stuff we would fly in. I think we'd be more likely
to encounter some supertech artifact of an alien
civilization, not the aliens themselves. It
frankly all seems comically human.

A related point: I know NASA scientists and
SETI scientists. The government would not be able
to keep the existence of alien visitors a secret.
Why? Because it's information that is too
important to scientists, and they would blow the
cover. There ARE governement and corporate secret
conspiracies, but they are not nearly as glamorous
or interesting -- they mostly have to do with
killing people and making money. It's criminal what
we allow folks to get away with. I wish otherwise
intelligent and sincere people like yourself would
pay more attention to these real problems! I
work for NASA myself. As your Web site asked about
the kids, am I a liar? Who do you trust? I don't
trust human testimony a lot. I trust scientific
methodolgy... most of the time. Skepticism is an
important tool in navigating a very confusing
world.

I STRONGLY suggest that you read either
Grinspoon's "Lonely Planets" or Seth Shostak's
"Sharing the Universe" for your class project. I
would also give you special permission to read
Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World" as an
alternative. All of these books are by scientists
and address the question of alien visitation in
different ways. Grinspoon and Sagan are more
sophisticated than Shostak.

See you in class tomorrow.

Best wishes,
Dr. D.




posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 12:57 PM
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That was a very enjoyable read , cheers for posting this , you should invite you teacher to have a look round ATS
.He make some great points ,the only thing I dont agree with is mass hallucinations.How can so many people experince the same hallucination at the very same time right down to the finest detail?I dont think thats possible.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:05 PM
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I would suggest that if you approach him again about UFOs , you should mention better cases than the African School children. For instance the appearance of UFOs over D.C. two weekends in a row in '52, or Operation Prato that the Brazilian Air Force has publicly acknowledged.

Something that isn't so easily equated to "Visions" of the Virgin Mary.

But I doubt you'll get any different answer than you've already been given.

[edit on 2-9-2005 by lost_shaman]



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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Sounds like a great response to me. I took astronomy from the legendary Dr Edmondson about a thousand years ago. The discussion section met at the top of the Kirkwood observatory, and this time of the year it was flippin' HOT up there. I can almost hear ol' Frank speaking the words in your post.

Enjoy this time. Take his advice, but continue to explore independently, if you're inclined. He COULD be wrong.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:12 PM
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A thoroughly refreshing read. Rational and accepting of the possibilities without needing a rush to conclusion.

I, like many others would like for the existence of aliens
to be true. Therefore, I have to be even MORE
exceptionally skeptical about it, especially when
dealing with "evidence" presented by "believers".


There are so many solid passages in that post, that I can't list them all. But that one does the best at defining the two camps. There are those that will identify with evidence as its presented and there are those who are the "believers" or the faithful.


[edit on 2-9-2005 by nullster]



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:14 PM
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The Demon Haunted World is an excellent book.

Ask him about his opinions on Roswell. If he thinks it's BS tell him to come on this site so we can watch he and Gazrok go at it. I'm sure Gazrok's working the speedbag as we speak.


Peace



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
Sounds like a great response to me. I took astronomy from the legendary Dr Edmondson about a thousand years ago. The discussion section met at the top of the Kirkwood observatory, and this time of the year it was flippin' HOT up there. I can almost hear ol' Frank speaking the words in your post.

Enjoy this time. Take his advice, but continue to explore independently, if you're inclined. He COULD be wrong.


My teacher's name is Dr. Richard Durisen



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:23 PM
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I think I've said most of what I've got to say on Roswell.

But, I think he'd find it an interesting read, and I'd welcome the comments...



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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Do you have a good write up in which i can link him so he doesn't have to go through 20 different links?



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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It sounds like you are a developing a good discourse with him which is excellent.

However, like some have said here, next time - perhaps - be equipped with some aditional cases and facts.

Also, and I would bve extremly curious to ask him this, how does he explain that several U.S. and Russian astronauts have come forward saying that the U.S. does indeed have knowledge of extraterrestrial visitation.

I, like your teacher, know people who work at NASA.

They are good people, and in some cases they have even gone on undersea training with the current American astronauts.

They do not, however, have any knowledge of extraterrestrials either.

(trust me I have plied them with alcohol and would know if they new)

I believe, just like the public and military, almost no one in NASA has access to that information.

The Astronauts, however, are one type of scientist from which the truth, by the nature of their job, cannot be held back.

And like your professor suggested some of them felt a moral obligation to come forward with the truth.

But it was spun or ignored - just as all sightings are done by the main stream media.

As for whether or not pictures are doctored - how could he possibly know that? I am sure they are changed and/or censored before the majority scientists ever recieve the signal.

These scientist are at the mercy of the military systems - they have no way or real interest in knowing if their transmissions have been altered for national security reasons.

So keep up the dialog - and maybe inspire your teacher to one day wake up and start questioning all he has likely assumed to be true.

And please post any answers he may give you to these forums here - I'd be very interested in how he can explain away the likes of famous specialists such as Gordon Cooper.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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Your professor sounds like an honest and decient guy. His words are spoken like a true Scientist, accept nothing until it is proven.

But Science relies on honesty, on a clear look at the facts. I find it interesting that he admits that there are such things as government conspiraces, but limits them to murder and money. Power is more important than either of those two things, and in fact encompasses them within itself. If you have power you can commit murder and get away with it, and money is controled by those in power.

Throw in even a bit of dishonesty, a tiny amount of disinformation, and Science fails. Gazrok just did an excellent post which, to me, establishes beyond a doubt that there has indeed been disinformation applied to this subject over the years by the US government.

With that known, I do not blame Scientists for the conculsions they draw.

Of course I have always hated the line 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof'. The only reason Alien life is considered extraordinary is because we do not all believe it yet, but there is nothing extraordinary about it.

Personally I love to love to hear his take on my most favorite of cases, the Battle of LA.


A.T
(-)




[edit on 9/2/05 by Alexander Tau]



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 06:57 PM
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Ask your prof. if he's heard of NASA scientist Dr. Norman Bergrun, & ask him if he read his book, "The Ring Makers of Saturn"

What about Lee Katchen, who was a NASA atmospheric physicist? In an announcement on June 7, 1968 indicated that he believed, based on his examination of 7,000 reports, that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin.

What about Dr. Richard F. Haines, a retired NASA senior research scientist at Ames Research Center and the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science where he worked on the International Space Station:

"What I found [in doing research for the book Project Delta] was compelling evidence to claim that most of these aerial objects far exceeded the terrestrial technology of the era in which they were seen. I was forced to conclude that there is a great likelihood that Earth is being visited by highly advanced aerospace vehicles under highly 'intelligent' control indeed."
"We're not dealing with mental projections or hallucinations on the part of the witness but with a real physical phenomenon."
"Reports of anomalous aerial objects (AAO) appearing in the atmosphere continue to be made by pilots of almost every airline and air force of the world in addition to private and experimental test pilots. This paper presents a review of 56 reports of AAO in which electromagnetic effects (E-M) take place on-board the aircraft when the phenomenon is located nearby but not before it appeared or after it had departed.
"Reported E-M effects included radio interference or total failure, radar contact with and without simultaneous visual contact, magnetic and/or gyro-compass deviations, automatic direction finder failure or interference, engine stopping or interruption, dimming cabin lights, transponder failure, and military aircraft weapon system failure."



Your teacher trusts scientific methodolgy... most of the time...
Ask him to read:Science, Proof And The "UFO"


If there is a another, non-human intelligence operating on the Earth then "science" could be of little help and there may be no "proof" available except as these "others" desire. The concept of "proof" requires that there exist a human agency possessing the ability to determine with authority what is happening in the world. When "science" is dealing with things like sulphur dioxide or chimpanzees there is no problem. But if "UFOs" are the products of a superior technology then where is the "authority" to determine what is really going on? We must remember that scientists are neutral, objective observers only within their narrow specialties.

"Ufology" can never be truly "scientific." This is because of the nature of science and the probable nature of the "UFO." If in fact the "UFO" represents another intelligence of some kind then the fundamental assumptions of "science" and "scientists" are null and void. These assumptions are:

1) The universe is objective (totally material, in effect, dead) and knowable with certainty by human beings, i.e., by scientists, who are the most human.

2) The scientific method is the best way to study the universe and its language is quantification--mathematics. The ideal here is the "hard, physical evidence" that can be deemed "proof" by the ultra-materialists of the world of science.

3) The highest form of "science" therefore is physics, the most provable, with chemistry a strong second.

But if the UFO is not "objective," if instead it is under the control of an agency equal or superior in intelligence to humans, then the UFO is not necessarily knowable at all, let alone knowable with certainty. Science assumes that humans are at the top of the universal brain chain. Science has not really looked at what it might mean if we are not.

The "scientific method" demands repeatability either of experiment or observation. It assumes "control" of one kind or another by human beings. But if the "UFO" represents another intelligence then that "control" may not be available. And if that control is not there then science is not going to give us what we need. We need more than science.


Also, ask him to visit Bernard Haisch, Ph. D.'s information site on the UFO phenomenon by and for professional scientists called www.ufoskeptic.org...



[edit on 2-9-2005 by evilution]



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 07:27 PM
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This professor sounds like a level headed and rational guy in his skepticism towards ufo's, but a certainly don't agree with him. One thing that I have always pondered is the term "rationality" when being used in debate on ufo's. Yes, it is important to (when debating and researching these things) to come up with the best explanation for the data or base conclusions on the data. The remark of the prof. brought this issue back to mind. When he says:


To me,
the explanation for anything that it is due to
intelligent aliens visting Earth in spacecraft
is such an extreme explanation that it will
always be easier and more rational to accept
a more pedestrian expalantion, even if a little
bit odd. As Carl Sagan put it, extraordinary
claims require extraordinary proof, the highest
standards of evidence. So, it is easier for me
to believe the children saw some unusual military
aircraft with suited up pilots, or they suffered
from a mass delusion, or their headmaster told
them what to say or do under threat of serious
beating.


Is it really less rational to belief these innocent children are telling the truth then to believe any of this? There is simply no mundane explanation for what the children saw that has been verified or that has stood up to serious analysis. Is it really irrational to except other worldy explanations which seem more sound over ludacris earthly ones? For example, is it really more rational to believe that the roswell crash was a japanese spyplane full of deformed migits than it is to believe that it was an extraterrestrial craft? According to this professor, it is; but somehow I have trouble believing that.


Ask him about his opinions on Roswell. If he thinks it's BS tell him to come on this site so we can watch he and Gazrok go at it. I'm sure Gazrok's working the speedbag as we speak.


Better yet (no offense gazrok), direct him to the work of stanton friedman. I don't see how your professor could ever dismiss the serious work of a fellow scientist.

[edit on 2-9-2005 by DaTerminator]

[edit on 2-9-2005 by DaTerminator]



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 05:27 PM
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does anyone want to do a little write up that i can send me teacher because i for one am not as knowledgable about aliens/ufos as a lot of other people on this board. maybe then he will register and spread his thoughts on ats



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 10:07 PM
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IU yeah! what campus? im going to the columpus IUPUC campus next year
. Anyway want to hear where the name 'hoosier' came from? I heard it was a barfight where a kentuckying lost his ear and the guy from indiana held it up and yelled "Whose ear?" which became "hoosier". hehe



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 12:17 PM
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Blownjeep,

He is your professor, you are the student taking the class. Why don't you educate yourself and then discuss things with your professor?

Who would take you seriously if you bring them a little write up from someone else on the net?

That would just show that you don't care enough about the subject to educate yourself. So why even bother talking about the subject with you?

You see what I'm saying?

So if you want to educate yourself start with the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis), and why people like your professor are content with ignoring it despite all the supporting evidence, because it is too hard to believe in. ( Very Unscientific! )

[edit on 4-9-2005 by lost_shaman]



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